Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.


Our community pillars help us carry out our 100-Year Vision

Check it out

Non-profit Organization

Red Bank River Center

The Red Bank River Center promotes local merchants, recruits new businesses, stages vibrant downtown events, and beautifies our streetscapes.

Learn More
organization-banner
organization-banner

RED BANK: PARKING GARAGE HEARING SLATED

rb-white-st-lot-083017-1-500x375-6769483The council will hold a public forum on proposals for the White Street parking site later this month, says Councilman Mike Whelan. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

park-it-2017-license-plate-220x127-8716892Almost six months after they were submitted and three months after they were the subject of hasty presentations, five proposed plans for the redevelopment of Red Bank’s main downtown parking lot will finally get a public hearing, redbankgreen has learned.

Councilman Mike Whelan, who chairs the borough government’s parking committee, said a session to solicit public input has been scheduled for Wednesday, September 27, at the Red Bank Primary School on River Street.

The hearing will follow the council’s regular semimonthly meeting, which is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at borough hall, but discussions were underway about the possibility of moving the council meeting to the school so the parking event could follow without delay, Whelan said Friday.

All five developers have been invited to participate, Whelan said, in what will be the public’s first formal opportunity to address elected officials about the concept plans. Until now, he said, council members had to remain mum on the advice of lawyers because of a pending lawsuit filed by former councilwoman Cindy Burnham.

“We’re finally ready to talk about it,” he said.

What changed? Whelan wouldn’t say, but said the answer will be made clearer at this week’s council meeting, slated for Wednesday evening. “We’ll be speaking more about the litigation and the RFP [Request for Proposals] process and a path forward after months in litigation,” he said.

Lawyer Ron Gasiorowski, who’s representing Burnham in the lawsuit, said he didn’t know what had changed. He said the litigation has been “kind of on hold” since a case management conference with the judge about three weeks ago.

“Supposedly, the council is giving consideration with regard to the whole concept,” he told redbankgreen. “It’s my understanding they didn’t like any of the proposals as far as size of the buildings. That’s all I really know.

“I’m as anxious as you are to hear what they have to say Wednesday,” he said.

In May, weeks before the developer presentations, the council’s three Democrats rejected the five proposals as “ridiculous” in scale and vowed “staunch opposition” to all. They later said that they favor a garage-only solution for the site.

Gasiorowski said he had been prepared to take the deposition of the borough planner but put that on hold until it becomes clear what the council might do.

Since the proposals were submitted in April, the parking committee held a round-robin of presentations by the five would-be redevelopers of the 2.3-acre parking lot. The builders got 15 minutes apiece to detail their ideas. But the public was not permitted to comment or ask questions at that June 15 session.

The Red Bank Business Alliance held a public forum on parking a month later at the middle school.

In the interim, at least one of the proposals has undergone significant changes.

Roger Mumford, the only local contender among the five, has eliminated a 12-story condo building with a beacon of several additional stories from his concept plan, he told redbankgreen recently. The structure would have been sited at the eastern end of the parking lot property, opposite English Plaza.

Instead, he now proposes to erect a parking garage on the portion of the site reaching from the Nemo tile building to Drummond Place, which he would extend so that it connects Monmouth and White Streets. Stretching out the garage means that it “won’t be as tall as if it were condensed” into a smaller footprint, Mumford said.

As called for by the council in the RFP, the garage would create a net gain of 500 parking spaces to the property, and do so without the use of “shared”parking in which residents of proposed housing and shoppers use the same slots at different times of day.

Red Bank RiverCenter, the downtown promotion agency, has said it “cannot and will not” support any plan that provides less than 500 spaces over an above the existing 273. His is the only proposal that meets the minimum parking criteria without shared parking, Mumford says.

Mumford also plans to construct an eight-story residential building of about 100 units on the portion between the extended Drummond Place and the eastern edge of the Atlantic Glass property. The building would connect with the parking garage by means of a skybridge in order to meet some of the residential parking need, though those spaces will not affect the net gain locals officials and business owners demand, he said.

Mumford has options to acquire the Atlantic Glass property and one just to the south of it, at Maple Avenue and Monmouth Street, that’s used as parking for Buona Sera restaurant. Both are outside the redevelopment zone and would be developed after the White Street garage is completed, Mumford said. Meantime, he said, they could be used for interim shopper parking while the garage is under construction.

Separately, downtown property owner John Bowers has urged the borough to build a garage, without housing or new businesses, on the site.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank business owner happier than to hear "I saw your ad on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
WALK THIS WAY
PARTYLINE: Before-and-afters of a sidewalk cleanup on West Street.
SOGGY NOTION
RED BANK: Breezeway sculpture captured the mood downtown as heavy rains fell Saturday morning.
HOME DELIVERY
RED BANK: After a subdivision, an instant house rises on a new Catherine Street lot.
COMMUNITY PROFILES
For Black History Month, Red Bank's Community Engagement and Equity Advisory Committee has been running a series of local profiles on Facebo ...
HEARTY FAREWELL FOR HARDY
RED BANK: Council to honor DPU supervisor Rich Hardy, who retired recently after almost 39 years of keeping things running.
HOMEBOUND? READ ON…
RED BANK: Can't get to the public library? It's now offering free delivery and pickups for homebound borough residents.
TAMING A BEAST OF A WEEK
RED BANK: After the second snowfall of the week, a borough family finds the perfect use for it – a Godzilla snow sculpture.
RED BANK: LIBRARY CLOSED, BUT THE HILL’S OPEN
RED BANK: Though the library was closed by a snowstorm, kids got to enjoy the riverfront property's steep slope Tuesday.
LIGHT(HOUSE) MAKEOVER
This year, getting ready for spring means a midwinter makeover for Strollo's Lighthouse in Red Bank.
TODAY: LOCAL PUPPY COMPETES ON ANIMAL PLANET’S “PUPPY BOWL”
Red Bank’s very own rescue puppy, Biscuit, is set to compete in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl this Sunday, February 11, at 2 PM. Th ...
WHAT? NO redbankgreen NEWSLETTER?
Apologies to redbankgreen newsletter subscribers: the daily email hasn’t gone out for two days because of technical issues.
RED BANK: TIRED OF SKEETERS?
RED BANK: Tired of mosquito bites every summer? Monmouth County has a free program to help eliminate skeeter breeding grounds.
SEA BRIGHT: POLAR PLUNGE FOR ST. JAMES, OTHERS
Hundreds braved the wind and sea on Sunday at 1PM in support of St. James Elementary School, and other Catholic schools in the area. The eve ...
RED BANK: RBR CLAIMS TITLE
RED BANK: Watch pure joy as the RBR boys basketball team celebrates its first B North championship in 17 years.
RED BANK: FORGET-IT FRIDAY
RED BANK: Train Station can be a lonely place Friday mornings, especially with cold rain in the forecast.
RED BANK: CROONING YOUR LOVE
RED BANK: Imagine a quartet of impeccably dressed gentlemen showing up at your beloved's workplace, singing of your love.
RED BANK: BLACK RIVER ROLLS ON
RED BANK: A 68-year-old rail freight engine can still be counted on to draw a trainspotting fan or two when it rolls through town.
RED BANK: ‘MONDAY SWEAT’ MEETS
RED BANK: Joined by the Hazlet Running Club, members of the Red Bank Run Club met for their "Monday Sweat" at Count Basie Field.
RED BANK: CARD SALE BOOSTS GYM DRIVE
RED BANK: Charter School Foundation offers student-deisgned Valentines cards to help raise funds for a gymnasium.
RED BANK: LOVE IS IN THE… WINDOW
RED BANK: Up next: Valentine's Day, and Partyline finds the Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe getting ready for a surge of love and craving.